Your resume is the first thing that a recruiter sees. So your chance to make a good impression is at stake. Companies get tons of resumes from candidates for job applications, and it is necessary to make one that helps you stand out from the crowd.
Nowadays, on Google, you will find tons of do's and don'ts to be followed while making a resume, but still, students and working professionals make the same mistakes, as a result of which they don't get shortlisted for interviews.
Why do we need a great resume?
In my last article, I explained why you need to have a resume that gets noticed by the recruiter. If you haven't read that yet, here's the link: Top 5 FREE Resume Building Websites Online (2022)
Most students are unaware of the design language of modern resumes. Hundreds of people apply for the same job application and the best resumes get shortlisted for the next round. Mathematically your chances of selection are not even 1%, but with a well-crafted resume in hand, you can drastically increase your probability of getting the interview call.
If you want to get shortlisted for an interview at your dream company then follow these 10 cool resume tips:
1. Make separate resumes for different job profiles
The first resume tip would be to create multiple versions of your resume, while applying for different job roles. Suppose you are applying for both Software Developer and Data Scientist roles in companies then the job description will differ as well. So a universal resume may fit one profile but not the other one.
Making different versions of your resume means customizing the document according to the job role and responsibilities. You cannot apply for a UI/UX Designer role with a resume which has skills like TensorFlow and Keras, right? The resume needs to be relevant to the role which you have applied for.
So even if you are skilled in different profiles, we suggest you keep different resumes for different domains. For design, include skills and phrases which are widely used and are popular in the designing field. The same goes for SDE, Machine Learning and Developer roles.
2. No more Objectives
Including an objective is superfluous on a resume. Objectives do not really have an impact nowadays. When 100 people apply for a job, they do it because they share the same career objective. A man will not apply for a Backend developer role with a career objective of working as a Product Manager. Makes sense doesn't it?
"When you apply for a position, you are already conveying your desire to work for that particular company. Whether you are skilled and motivated enough will be judged based on the interviews, not the objective."
You might have seen candidates getting placed in top MNCs with a resume HAVING a career objective section. It is not that you should avoid including objectives at all costs, but when you feel that the document can't fit all your expertise inside one page, then it is better to omit this section entirely.
3. Make your resume ATS friendly
This is one of the most important resume tips, especially if you are a fresher. When hundreds of applicants apply for a job, then the recruiter doesn't get much time to scan through all the documents. In fact, the screening is done by an ATS (Applicant Tracking System).
What is an ATS?
Companies arrange candidates for recruitment by using an applicant tracking system (ATS). These technologies enable firms to gather data, classify candidates as per experience and skills and evaluate candidates.
If your resume goes through an ATS, remember that only the well-formatted resumes will be shortlisted for further rounds. The system scans for keywords, skills, and experience and selects the most relevant ones.
Key things to consider while making resumes ATS friendly:
Avoid tables: Tables are often used to improve readability and presentation, but it is quite difficult for the ATS to parse information from a tabular format.
Use traditional fonts, avoid the fancy ones: Fancy fonts are good, till you use them in a resume. A resume should look professional and it is recommended you use sans serif fonts so that ATS can detect them easily.
Use long and short keywords: Read the job description carefully and note down the skills required for the role. After that, mention those skills in your resume. In this way, the ATS will consider you for having more relevance than others.
Pick a simple and clean resume template: Highly designed templates with several design elements are less likely to be parsed properly by the ATS. Whereas, traditional resume templates get scanned easily.
4. Please include links to your profiles and projects
While applying for jobs, we expect you to have built good projects. The presence of a good project heavily increases your chances of selection. But what's more important? Including links to them.
If you have hosted your website or project on GitHub or Heroku, it is better to add the links for the recruiter's reference. In this way, the employers can be sure of what you are capable of.
Also if you are a content writer, an open-source contributor or anything whose work is hosted elsewhere, it is highly advisable to include links. Last but not the least, make sure to include your email address which should redirect to the mailbox upon click.
5. Avoid fancy and colourful resume templates
This is not a resume tip, but more of a suggestion. Too much colour in a resume may put off a recruiter. If you are applying for technical roles, then keep designs minimal. Instead, put more focus on keyword usage and formatting.
Remember one thing, a good design may impress the recruiter, but not always does a recruiter gets to scan the documents. In the case of an ATS scan, a good design will be of no use, but proper keywords and action verbs will be.
6. Use relevant keywords from the job description
Before you proceed to apply for a job role, carefully read the roles and responsibilities and the skills required. List down the important keywords on a paper and while creating the resume, include them wherever possible. This helps you to build a targeted resume, which is designed specifically for a particular job role.
Why? A large number of these screening procedures are simplistic and therefore only look for job-related keywords on your resume. If enough of them are discovered, you will be shortlisted. If not, irrespective of how highly qualified you are for the post, you will be rejected right away.
7. Make use of metrics while listing your achievements/contributions
Always describe your accomplishments and contributions to projects with metrics. Yes, you heard that right. Usage of metrics helps the recruiters and hiring managers to understand the impact you have created through your work.
Wondering what metric to mention? If you are working on an ML Model, mention the accuracy. If you are an SEO Specialist, quantify the increase in revenue. If you are a Social Media Manager, mention the percentage of traffic boost you generated over time. If you are an educator, mention how many students you have taught.
No matter what field you work in or what stage of your career you are in, there's always something in your resume that you can showcase with a statistic. See the image below for an example:
8. One page resume >>> Multi-page resume
Now, this might be controversial, but for freshers and candidates having not more than 5 years of experience, a 2-page resume will not be the best idea. A candidate might have worked for many organizations and done many projects, but please note that fresher jobs are the ones which get a huge number of applications. Recruiters, due to shortage of time don't even scan the 1 page resumes in detail, let alone the 2-page formats. For work experience and projects, always include the best and most relevant ones and keep them within 1 page.
So should you have a 2-page resume? In short, if you don't have much experience, then no. Resumes are meant to convey as much information in the most concise way possible. Recruiters skim through your document, so do not expect your entire content to be read line by line.
9. Use bullet points, not paragraphs
This is one of the most important resume tips that can make or break your chances of shortlisting. When skimming through your work experience, recruiters love to know more about what you contributed to your previous organization(s), and what you had accomplished. So listing them, in short, is very key.
What's more important is how you present them. Resume readability plays an important role when it comes to impressing the hiring manager. It depends heavily on the use of brief, concise bullet points. Blobs of text, such as bullet points or paragraphs larger than three lines, are less likely to be read.
Make sure to include at least 2 bullet points under each organization in the work experience section.
10. Mention achievements relevant to the job profile
It is a bad practice to mention achievements which have absolutely no relation to the job profile you are applying for. Your gold medal in a club swimming competition has nothing to do with the SDE role at Amazon. Instead, if you have won any coding competitions or hackathons, do list them in bullet points.
Following up on the previous point, mention those achievements that you have earned while or after pursuing your undergraduate degree.
[BONUS] - DO NOT LIE !
While it is important to sell yourself in the best manner through a resume, lying is something you should avoid at all costs. Lying or exaggerating your skills will get you shortlisted, but in interviews, your chances of getting the employment offer will fall flat once the interviewer starts asking about your expertise in skills you don't have any idea about.
According to Monster India's State of the Recruiter survey in 2019, 85% of recruiters said that candidates exaggerate skills and competencies on their resumes.
Presenting yourself on a piece of paper is not an easy task, and even though lying isn't illegal, people will doubt your integrity if you get caught.
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